In this new short story collection, John Edgar Wideman blends the historical and the imaginary, the personal and the political, to invent complex, charged stories about love, death and struggle. With a cast of real and fictional characters as diverse as Frederick Douglass, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Wideman's own family, it is a journey through the soul of America. In `JB & FD' Wideman imagines conversations between white anti-slavery crusader John Brown and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. In `Williamsburg Bridge' a man contemplates his life as he sits on the edge of the bridge, meaning to jump. In `Maps and Ledgers' a brother and sister ponder their father's killing of another man. In these and the other stories in this collection, Wideman navigates an extraordinary range of subject and tone. He delivers individual narratives both emotionally precise and intellectually stimulating, and an extended meditation on family, history and loss. American Histories demonstrates a master at his absolute best.